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Rooney Mara to play Tiger Lily in new Peter Pan film

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Rooney Mara has been cast as Tiger Lily in a forthcoming adaptation of J. M. Barrie's classic Peter Pan.

The 28-year-old actress will be heading to Neverland sharpish after signing onto the project, according to insiders who spoke to TheWrap.com.

However, the casting has come under fire from some - as Tiger Lily is traditionally portrayed as Native American. This comes at a time when Hollywood is increasingly under scrutiny for its under-representation of indigenous roles.

Explaining its decision the film company said, "The studio took on an exhaustive search in finding the right girl to play Lily looking at other actresses such as Lupita Nyonog'o and Blue is the Warmest Color thesp Adele Exarchopoulos before going out to Mara for the role."

It also said the adaptation would be "international and multi-racial".

Rooney Mara in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The role is a big departure for Mara, who's best known for her work in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo where she co-starred Daniel Craig in a big screen adaptation of Stieg Larsson's cult thriller book.

Mara also appeared in this year's Oscar-winning love story Her, alongside Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson.

Pan is billed as an unconventional take on the Peter Pan legend from director Joe Wright - the man behind Atonement and Pride & Prejudice.

Along with Mara, Hugh Jackman is slated to play Blackbeard and Garrett Hedlund has been confirmed in the role of Captain Hook.

The story line will revolve around a young orphan boy who is spirited away from London to a carefree existence in Neverland, where he acquires hero status.

According to The Wrap, director Wright is planning "to create a world that is very international and multi-racial, effectively challenging audiences’ preconceived notions of Neverland and re-imagining the environment."

There have been several film adaptations of Peter Pan through the decades. A 2003 adaptation starred Lynn Redgrave and Saffron Burrows, but Walt Disney's 1953 version is the probably the best-known and loved.

Pan has not yet started production and is set for release in July 2015.

Words: Anna Brech, Photos: Rex Features

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